NL playoffs take shape, Giants virtually assured No. 3 seed

NL playoffs take shape, Giants virtually assured No. 3 seed
September 30, 2012, 4:56 am
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SAN DIEGO The playoff picture is taking shape for theGiants, who almost certainly will enter the postseason as the No. 3 seed andlikely face the Cincinnati Reds in an NL Division Series.

Following their 7-3 loss at San Diego on Saturday, theGiants officially cannot be the No. 1 seed. They fell four games behind theWashington Nationals with four to play; the Nats hold the tiebreaker over theGiants by virtue of winning the season series.

The Reds also hold the tiebreaker against theGiants, in addition to a three-game edge in the standings. So the only way theGiants can leap them for the No. 2 seed is if they finish 4-0 and the Reds go0-4.
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Finally, the Nats are one game in front of the Reds. Washingtonholds the tiebreaker between the clubs, too. So the Nats essentially hold atwo-game edge with four to play, and would clinch the top seed with anycombination of three victories or Reds losses.

Dizzy? Well make it simpler for you: The odds are strongthat itll be the Giants and Reds in one series, with the Nationals awaitingthe winner of the Wild Card knockout game in the other series.

Due to a one-year quirk in the schedule, the lower seedsopen as the home team for Games 1 and 2, with the remainder of the five-game seriesshifting to the higher seeds ballpark.

So if youre putting in your schedule requests at work, thesmart move would be to plan for baseball at AT&T Park on Oct. 6 and 7.

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